OLPC – What Power Management?

According to OLPC WIKI, power management on OLPC is a work in progress. Lots of things ‘seem’ to be a work in progress in OLPC.

Using the OLPC does use very little power, however, when I close it, it does not go to sleep (suspend) as I would have assumed. I think this is a defect since this project is so consiensious on power saving.

Maybe the WIKI states how things ‘ought’ to work instead of how they work at the moment. Looking at the ticket system for power related issues paints a different picture. Indeed, there are plenty of issues being worked on that are related to power in the OLPC.

I’m hoping for the best, most likely, I am doing something wrong and draining the battery by my own doing… I did get this OLPC on EBAY, perhaps previous owner didn’t condition battery properly? I doubt this is the issue because of all those tickets on power… I hope an update alleviates this any day now.


OLPC – Disabling ‘hot corner’ behavior…

One little annoyance to me is that the OLPC comes with an ‘always on’ mode for all corners of the desktop. Mousing to an edge automatically brings up an outer frame where one can manage olpc. The uppermost-right keyboard key does the same thing and it is more convenient an not intrusive.

The behaviour is a bit like an Expose Active Screen Corners (on Macs) that cannot be configured. This is a bit annoying because the screen is rather small and it does not take much to activate outer frame.

Luckily, another quick search in the OLPC Forums and it turns out that these can be disabled without too much trouble.

In terminal, go into ‘su’ and navigate to the following directory:

And edit (I’m using nano, just like pico) eventarea.py commenting out lines 56 and 57 to look like this:

# invisible.connect('enter-notify-event', self._enter_notify_cb)
# invisible.connect('leave-notify-event', self._leave_notify_cb)

Changes require a restart to take effect. After the OLPC boots up, voila, no more hot corners. This is awesome. Now I just use the keyboard key to bring the frame only when I want to and not by mistake.

OLPC – Reading Books Grayscale Mode

Reading on the OLPC is delightful. The battery seems to last a long time and, unlike the Sony Reader, can be done in complete darkness. I am making the screen as dark as possible, just one click before the blacklight turns off.
Still, it feels a bit like one is reading in a very old laptop tft screen. Doing a quick search on the OLPC Forums aturned out the following. In terminal activity, first login in as ‘su’ (no password is necessary) and type the following:

echo 1 > /sys/devices/platform/dcon/output

The one liner above makes the screen grayscale WITH the backlight on. I think that text looks much better with lights off in this mode. I am trying this tonight for reading and it looks way nicer than ‘dim color mode’ for text.

Finally, adjusting brightness up or down reverts screen to normal. Neat!